Written by: Alyssa Villa

Mr. Roberto Yangco of USPC with the TOT on Youth Peer Facilitator on the RYDS participants.

The US Peace Corps (USPC), in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 3, conducted the Training of Trainers (TOT) for Youth Peer Facilitators on the Regional Youth Development Session (RYDS) for 4Ps Youth –1st batch of the Tarlac Leg from April 20-22, 2022 at Tarlac Agricultural University.

A total of 21 youth from 11 municipalities in Tarlac as identified by DSWD participated in the 3 days training. The training sought to equip the youth with facilitating skills whilst discovering their dreams and inspiring them to fulfil their goals in life. Moreover, it also strived to encourage the youth to assist DSWD in conducting the succeeding RYDS in their localities. Hence, the passion and determination of the youth to serve and volunteer were actuated. This was also strengthened as PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James Gawe delivered his Special Message during the Closing Program of the TOT on April 22, 2022.

PNVSCA ED Donald James D. Gawe during his Special Message.

He shared that the training session is important in honing the youth’s character and aspirations. It will guide them to become proactive, do what is right, and have the passion to inspire other youth to surpass challenges in life.

ED Gawe expressed to the participants, “Since Day 1, malaki ang inyong naging pagbabago. You are all empowered now.”

Mr. Alvin Santiago of DSWD Field Office 3 during his Special Message.

Mr. Alvin Santiago, Focal Person of Family Development Session of DSWD Field Office III, also gave a Special Message during the program. He openly shared his challenges in life to inspire the youth. “Dati, wala akong ma-imagine kapag tinatanong ang pangarap. Hindi rin po kami pinagpala. Mahirap din ang buhay.”

He expressed that he did everything he can to survive. He applied for scholarships, studied hard to become a dean’s lister to receive an allowance, and he even sell food items/products. Despite the hardships, he was able to finish his Nursing degree and passed the licensure exam.

As he end his message, he shared, “Ibaon niyo lahat ng natutunan niyo dito. I-appreciate niyo ‘yong potential, lalo kung may nadiscover kayong bago. And one of these days, kapag nagkita tayo, iba na ang kaharap namin. Mas successful at mas masayang tao.”

The participants also shared their reflections on the training.

Mark James – the first one who imparted his takeaways – said, “I’m taking my internship. Actually, patapos na ako. Pinagpalit ko ang 30 hours ko para dito. At hindi ako nabigo. Dahil ang dami kong natutunan sa inyo.”

Mark James, TOT on Youth Peer Facilitator on the RYDS participant, during his reflection sharing.

He further shared, “Dahil dito, ang mentality ko ngayon is to become a social worker din. To become a volunteer. Dahil iyon ang purpose natin bakit tayo ipinadala dito. Dahil majority sa atin, hindi ine-expect na magse-serve pala tayo sa ating mga communities.

Sana hindi dito matapos ang pagkikita-kita natin. Sana sama-sama tayong mag-serve in the near future.”

Precy, TOT on Youth Peer Facilitator on the RYDS participant, during her reflection sharing.

Precy, another participant, also conveyed her gratitude. “Yung reflection ko po, three words lang. Grateful. Blessed. Determined. Yung tatlo pong iyon, dito ko lang siya nakita sa training na ‘to. Nagkaroon ako ng determinasyon na ipagpatuloy kung ano ‘yong sinisimulan natin ngayon. Kung iniisip ng karamihan na wala ng pag-asa, nagkakamali po kayo. Dahil mayroon at mayroong ibibigay si Lord na magpapabago ng buhay natin. May pag-asa pa. Huwag kang susuko.”

Moreover, just like Mark James, Evelyn doesn’t want to join the training at first because she’s also taking her internship.

Evelyn, TOT on Youth Peer Facilitator on the RYDS participant, during her reflection sharing.

“24 hours po ang sayang if ever sasali ako dito. Pero naisip ko po, ngayong nandito na, hindi pala sayang. Sobrang worth it po na nandito ako. This session is extraordinary and life-changing. Hindi lang po ako nangarap ng sobra. Ang mga speakers and facilitators, nagtanim po sila ng hope sa puso ng bawat isa. We are not just youth. We are everything.”

Dr. Lyn Cheever – USPC’s Director of Programming and Training – during her closing message.

USPC-DSWD will conduct two more batches of the TOT for Youth Peer Facilitator on the RYDS until April 30, 2022 to cover the 60 youth from Tarlac Province’s different localities.

With PNVSCA ED Donald James D. Gawe, USPC Director of Programming and Training Dr. Lyn Cheevers, DSWD Field Office 3 staff, and TOT for Youth Peer Facilitators on the RYDS participants.

Prior to attending the closing programme of the TOT, ED Gawe and team conducted consultations with various development stakeholders of Tarlac Province.

Read related story: https://www.pnvsca.gov.ph/?p=3852


The author is currently the VSO II of the Program Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PCMED), Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.

Visit PNVSCA website (www.pnvsca.gov.ph) and PNVSCA Facebook (facebook.com/PNVSCA) for other stories and information on volunteering.